According to a January 4, 2011 Kaiser Health News (KHN) article, many American seniors who qualify for a Medicare Part D subsidy that reduces prescription costs have not signed up. The article, 2 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Missing Out On Discounted Drug Coverage, explains that the program, called Extra Help, lowers medication costs and reduces money spent in Part D doughnut hole.
This is a significant program that the children of senior parents should learn about, especially if their parents’ incomes are limited. A Kaiser Family Foundation research study estimates that nearly 2.3 million people qualify but have not signed up for the program, despite a huge amount of publicity, direct mail and even ads and video broadcasts (see video below) with Chubby Checker — the rock musician who popularized the twist in 1960. Checker, now age 69 is eligible for Medicare benefits. The KHN article provides more detailed information.
The article describes who is can sign up for the Extra Help benefits:
Seniors and the disabled are eligible for the subsidy if their income is less than $16,245 a year for individuals and $21,855 for married couples living together. The value of their stocks, bonds, and bank accounts can’t exceed $12,510 for individuals and $25,010 for married couples. The income definition doesn’t include the value of homes or automobile